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  • Most turbulent week in years in Wall Street ends with sharp losses and increasing concerns. 
  • WTI futures rise after the close after Trump asks the Energy Department to buy oil for the strategic reserve. 

Crude oil prices rose on Friday, gaining around 2% something practically insignificant with the volatility seen during the week. The WTI barrel settled at $31.70, losing 24% from a week ago. After the close, WTI futures climbed toward $34.00 after US President Trump said it asked the Energy Department to buy crude oil for the strategic reserve. 

The week it all changed 

Markets were already under pressure at the beginning of the week, when the oil price war shocked world markets. The spreading of the coronavirus hit sharply economic expectations triggering interest rate cuts and fiscal stimulus. The situations evolves hour by hour. The coronavirus panic does not bodes well for crude oil prices, another negative to add to the price war. 

The barrel closed last week around $41.00 and it dropped to as low as $27 on Monday. It then recovered to $36.50 on Wednesday. Over the last two days, volatility eased in the crude oil market. 

“Looking forward we expect the oil market to stay under pressure until specific fiscal measures are put in place to address the economic impact of the pandemic or until the OPEC+ members return to the negotiating table to correct the current oversupplied conditions. While fresh demand concerns continue to arise, we are encouraged by the pickup in economic activity in China and the rapid slowdown in the spread of the virus there”, explained Rabobank analysts. 

The historic week for markets is ending with US President Trump declaring a national emergency in response to the outbreak, allowing the federal administration to release aid to areas affected. He also announced the US will be buying crude oil to increase its reserves, to take advantage of the decline in prices. 


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